Opinion divided on death penalty in cases with victims under age 18 — 288 participants

Feb 09, 2017

The New Hampshire House is currently considering a bill, HB 351, that would allow the death penalty in murder cases involving a victim under age 18. Read more about this issue here. On February 9, Citizens Count, NH’s Live Free or Die Alliance decided to put the issue to its Facebook members, posting the question, “Should NH authorize the death penalty for any murder case with a victim under age eighteen?”

“Should NH authorize the death penalty for any murder case with a victim under age eighteen?”

Results: Yes or No Respondents

Death Penalty for Victims Under 18 New Hampshire Citizen Voices Chart

Participation: 288 participants gave 530 responses

A total of 91% of those participating gave a ‘yes or no’ response to the question. The remaining 9% of participants engaged in the discussion but did not give a ‘yes or no’ response. In total, 288 individuals from New Hampshire contributed a total of 530 responses or reactions to this question. Click here for details on our methodology.

[Note: Citizens Count NH also received additional comments from 45 individuals from outside New Hampshire.]

What Participants Said:

Yes: 50% of ‘yes or no’ respondents were in favor of authorizing the death penalty for murder cases involving victims under age 18.  

  • “Yes. You take a life, you pay with your life.”
  • “Children are innocent, and those vicious enough to kill them don’t deserve to live.”
  • “Should be death penalty for all victims, all ages. Why discriminate?”

No: 50% of ‘yes or no’ respondents were opposed to authorizing the death penalty for murder cases involving victims under age 18. 

  • “No. It is not alright for the government, or anyone acting on behalf of the government, to murder anyone under any circumstances.”
  • “There are far too many falsely accused and convicted people, so the death penalty risks murdering an innocent person.”
  • “Why would we want endless lawsuits keeping an inmate on death row? Life in prison and be done with it.”

Other: As noted above, 9% of those participating did not give a ‘yes or no’ response, instead addressing their comments to related questions and issues. These included:  

  • Indecision: “I struggle with the death penalty but sometimes when you hear what people do to kids, I wonder.”
  • Clarifying the impact: “What happens if abortion is actually outlawed? Would those who still got one be put to death?”
  • Relevance: “When was the last time a death sentence was carried out?”

*Editor selection of actual participant quotes. 

Comments

Seth King
- Sugar Hill

Thu, 03/02/2017 - 11:25am

When I was a kid, I was for the death penalty. As a young adult, I was staunchly against it, mainly because the State is so fallible, and there is so much corruption, that I frankly didn't trust the State enough to like the idea of it killing people.

But now I've come to the conclusion that I would like to see the death penalty ramped up big league.

Back in the olden days, horse thieves got hanged. Same thing for murderers and rapists, etc. How could a small town of 100 people be expected to pay to keep somebody in jail for long periods of time?

There this thing in economics called "opportunity costs." It basically means that every dollar you spend somewhere is a dollar *not* spent on something else.

So, when we spend money to keep criminals alive, we're spending that much less money on educating children, providing health care to the elderly, etc. We're essentially putting the lives of criminals *ahead* of the innocent.

Are there too many laws on the books and too many crimes? Yes! But *real* criminals, like those who victimize others, are getting out of hand. I'm to the point now where I'd like to see car thieves, rapists, murderers, etc. start getting the death penalty again, and swiftly. Figure out how to remove all of these decades of appeals.

Will there be innocent people who get killed? Sadly, yes. It's very, very sad. But there are innocent lives lost in *all* wars. And I prefer not to allow the prospect of some innocent lives being lost prevent me from fighting a war where my very existence is threatened. Our ancestors didn't let it stop them, and I'm glad they didn't, because their enemies would have won.

New Hampshire has it good relative to a lot of the rest of the country... for now.

But I'm tired of seeing scum of the earth get shuffled through the revolving door of the criminal justice system, and I really don't like the idea of keeping people in prison for decades, either. Just kill them and do us all a favor. And don't pretend keeping a person in jail for decades is humane, either. That's even worse than death, in my opinion.

There is a death battle for the republic being waged, and it's going to take some testicular fortitude to win it.

Vicky Barrette
- Portsmouth

Thu, 03/02/2017 - 9:24am

I do not support the death penalty under any circumstances.

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Related Bill

HB 351 (2017)
Bill Status: Killed in the House
Hearing date: Feb 07, 2017

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